Drugs Please…Plantar Fasciitis – Part III

Last night was the recheck with the foot surgeon to determine the progress after a month in the orthotics.  I am making progress but it is much slower than the doc would like so he decided a cortisone injection was in order.  After the painful poking to determine the largest problem area, and the point of insertion, the needle went in…… 

OUCH……Doc kept saying, “Remember, it’s not as bad as childbirth, right?”   Well, HELL no, but I had 9+ months to prepare for childbirth and a mere 9 seconds to prepare for this injection asshole.  Plus my body was helping to push/expel the a baby out, there was no wiggling said baby around, we didn’t push/pull baby in and out and/or reposition it.  So overall, baby just came OUT whether I was ready or not.  The needle, however, had a real fight going into uncharted territory, plus it needed to be in multiple places at once and well, that’s just not how things work.  It hurt.   See the pink dot for the point of insertion.

Doc injected cortisone up toward the arch and down toward the heel.  Those were the areas most swollen and tender.  The idea behind the cortisone shot was NOT to mask the pain per say but to pull out the swelling.  We have been treating this since early September because that’s when it got so bad that I couldn’t run with icing, oral anti-inflammatory meds, taping/padding and eventually orthotics.  Yesterday marked five weeks of orthotic use and apparently we should have seen more progress. 

September “Problems”

  • Left and Right Heel Pain – right heel far worse than left
  • Swelling of right foot, heel, Achilles Tendon, calf muscle
  • Left knee pain
  • Pain in both hips
  • Major cramping of right calf muscle after running a couple of miles
  • Left and right foot pain after running a couple of miles
  • Debilitating pain in feet and right calf to the point I would need to stop, stretch and walk during training runs
  • Racing was NOT good, lots of pain and swelling due to attempt at increased pace

5  Weeks Post Orthotics “Problems”

  • Right Heel Pain
  • Slight swelling in right heel and arch of foot
  • Fall off pace toward 8-10 mile mark of running
  • Right foot pain after 6-8 miles of running
  • Major right foot/heel pain after runs which require several days of rest to return to manageable pain level

Looking at these lists, I see that I have made a lot of improvement over the last couple of months.  Hopefully, after the pain from this cortisone injection dissipates, then the swelling will be reduced and maybe, just maybe, it will take some of the right heel pain with it.  Today is bad.  It hurts like a mother to walk and to sit and to stand.

The post-baby era, after having Mr. Michael has been rough.  2010 was the year of the come back, fighting the baby weight, and trying to regain fitness.  2011 was a year plagued with injuries starting in February/March with hip issues and then Plantar issues by summer.  I’m sure they are all related as the body is a complex organism but I would really like 2012 to be a pain-free year.  I can’t complain about 2011 because I have been fortunate to run some fast times for me while simultaneously being plagued with injuries.  That being said, I am careful about my miles.  Since I have been hurting this year, I take a few days off after training runs, or even a full week off in order to get as pain-free as possible race ready.  I certainly haven’t been at optimal fitness this year due to my sporadic mileage but I have made it thru the year with some decent times……22:19 – 5K, 40:31 – 8K, 1:16:40 – 15K, 1:53:20 Half Marathon….and I’ll just say I finished the 2011 Chicago Marathon with or without tears.  So I do look forward to racing pain-free in 2012.  I’m very willing to put in the miles and make it happen but I would like my body to be in a better spot.  If the next two cortisone shots don’t eliminate the swelling and right heel pain, then there will be time off in my near future.  I have a very big wish list for 2012 and want to do everything to the best of my ability PAIN-FREE.

Happy PAIN-FREE Running,                                                                                          Amanda – TooTallFritz


6 thoughts on “Drugs Please…Plantar Fasciitis – Part III

  1. Yikes…can empathize with ya since I have had injections in the L-heel and it does hurt quite a bit when they rotate the needle around the spread the injection. My injections were not Cortisone, but Zeel, cause I didn’t want to worry about tendency for corticosteroids to cause some breakdown of tendon tissue and time off for that initial trauma to heel up. Hence…I opted for Zeel (anti-inflammatory) cause ya can get it as often as you like and it has no side effects and ya can run the same day (depending on severity of heel pain issue).

    So…how long are you supposed to stay off running? Ya mention additional injections. I recall my podiatrist saying ca 4-weeks off with no running with cortisone injection(s). What’s your podio say?

    Keep in mind that when he sticks that needle in and moves it around…it will be causing some highly-localized trauma to tissues that may take a few days to heal-up…hence ya noting you not being able to walk or stand on it without it hurting. I would suspect that should noticeably subside in ca 72-hrs.

    Once ya get through this painful part ya gonna have to do a lot of other stretching and strengthening therapies to get rid of the plantar/heel pain or at least contain it within reason. Maybe he gave ya some to do…but if not…I know some ones that work quite well. Standing and balancing on one foot is a good one for strengthening foot muscle complex. I have worked up to 2.5 min standing on one leg and it helps a lot. Try the ultrasound therapy and anti-inflammatory topical ointements (Traumeel & Zeel) cause they work.

    Ouch….needles. Hey at least it wasn’t like the hypodermic they used to inject this solution into my arm for this X-ray imaging of bladder…that hypodermic was equivalent in length to a Yard Dart! Fortunately the needle wasn’t as thick!

    I noticed you had a very long laundry list of all kinds of things hurtin’ including calves and hips. Note that some of the injuries elsewhere are likely connected to your foot pain….Achilles tendon and tendons and fascia backside of leg from hip to backside of knee all tied to things that go done in feet. So stretching and strengthening therapies for your foot would be well served to include exercises or routines that focus on Achilles, hamstring, glutes, piriformis, ITB and possibly other muscle complexes or tendons/fascia.

    Keep us posted on your heel issue and your progress. Take some time off and enjoy the holidays…you probably need some time off and ya deserve it!

    peace….and without pain 2-All

    • Doc asked me when I needed to run next and I told him WED night. He said, “Ok, you’d run with this level of pain anyhow”….which is true, so he knows that I’m planning to run tomorrow. That being said, I couldn’t have ran this morn b/c I was in too much pain. Now, the pain has alieviated a bit, so hoping for conintued improvement throughout the day and into tomorrow.

      Tried the Traumeel (4x) and didn’t notice any relief at all. Haven’t tried the ultrasound (pricey for me). I had been doing the one leg foot stand/stretch a couple weeks ago and I took a big backslide, could have also been related to a lot of mileage over Thanksgiving weekend too but I kinda backed off on that and now mainly stretching the calves/achilles. I will start up again with the balancing.

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